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Kinder Morgan must defend fatal Mexican gas pipeline explosion court case

19 July 2016

A gas leak from a pipeline at Reynosa in Mexico owned by the Kinder Morgan group caused an explosion and fireball that killed 22 workers and injured dozens more on September 18, 2012. On July 13, a Federal Court ruled that only Kinder Morgan and not any of the other companies originally sued by plaintiffs’ groups should face the charges of gross negligence and negligence.

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According to Courthouse News Service, US District Judge Keith Ellison dismissed all claims against Pemex and its subsidiaries, which owned the plant. He agreed with Pemex that they are immune under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act because they are all owned by the Mexican government.

He also threw out charges against US companies Emerson Electric Co., Honeywell Analytics and Draeger Safety Inc., who plaintiffs alleged installed faulty operating systems that prevented Pemex from monitoring gas pressure and leaks, or were part of a technical committee Pemex assembled to advise it how to avoid such explosions.

Houston-based Kinder Morgan owns or operates 69,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in North America, including some that run from Texas to the plant in Reynosa, an industrial hub on the southern bank of the Rio Grande.

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